Thursday, May 06, 2004

The Rochas asked the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce if they could help, which led to the organization's informal adoption of the platoon.

Fernando Moreno, vice president of the chamber and owner of the Othello McDonald's restaurant said the goal is to be able to send the platoon a package per week.

"Rocky shares the stuff with kids that don't get much from home," Moreno said. "Receiving a package a week might give them something to look forward to."

The package, besides containing cookies from Happy Meals, will carry a variety of other products, from toothpaste and toothbrushes, to sunflower seeds, deodorants, crackers and hot sauce, every item donated from a different Othello business.

"Everybody donates a little bit of everything," Guerrero said. "Potter's Drugstore, The Lep-Re-Kon, Wal-Mart, Bob's Corner. It's a privilege to give something back."

The price to send the package to Iraq is about $28, for which Moreno's business made a $100 donation. Moreno's only concern is how an enclosed additional shipment of freshly baked cookies will make it to the Mideast.

Apart from the food and personal items, the packages will be dripping with patriotic solidarity, both Guerrero and Moreno said.

"There was no way we could say no," Guerrero said. "We look at the news every night, and we hear about soldiers getting killed. We wanted Rocky and other members of the community who are in the Armed Forces to know that we are appreciate what they do."

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